- Mar 2 2021The world lost some music greats and icons in 2017. We look back in tribute at the year we mourned for the Young brothers, Tom Petty, Walter Becker, Chris Cornell & many more.
In Memoriam 2017
In Memoriam 2017
Every year some of our heroes pass away. The sands of time wait for no one, but sometimes through struggles, people just can’t go on, and they’re truly heartbreaking times for music lovers.
2017 was in no way different to any other year in regards to musicians who’ve passed, no greater, no lesser, but they all have one thing in common, a legacy, which we will always have for generations to come. So today we celebrate just a few who left us in 2017.
Fats Domino (October 24, aged 89)
His style was iconic and inspirational to many, including Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley and John Lennon. He gave us brilliantly memorable hits like “Ain’t It A Shame”, “Blueberry Hill” (the catch cry for Richie Cunningham when he was getting lucky with the ladies), and of course “Shake, Rattle and Roll”
A true legend, and one when you say his name is often always associated with The Heartbreakers. A band he formed and recorded so many brilliant songs with, and a band that it seems that everyone in our generation automatically knows, a household name. “Refugee”, ”I Won’t Back Down”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, and what about “Needles and Pins” with Stevie Nicks? Revered and adored by his peers and fans alike.
I remember driving my car and hearing this news and was so stunned by it I had to pull over and listen intently to make sure I was actually hearing the name Chris Cornell. Like so many, growing up, Soundgarden was a pivotal band in my formative years. Then when he teamed up with the guys from RATM to form Audioslave, and then his solo work, he just kept bringing the heat. Chris’ voice was so incredibly powerful, but yearning and comforting when he wanted to be. Singing in cover bands, we all wanted to be like Chris, but we all fell short. He was too good. What a voice.
Musician, songwriter, and record producer. He was best known as the co-founder, guitarist, bassist, and co-songwriter of Steely Dan who met future songwriting partner Donald Fagen while they were students. The pair went on to write incredible songs such as "The Boston Rag", "Bad Sneakers" and "Do It Again".
Chester’s death caught me completely off guard. And I know I’m not alone when I say that. It was so left field for the world to hear this news, completely surreal, a complete and utter shock. We would later find out that Chester had been struggling with personal demons, but like so many other’s he leaves us with an incredible legacy due to his work with Linkin Park. Please check out this live performance of Crawling featuring his good friend, Chris Cornell.
What can be said about Malcolm that hasn’t already been shared since his passing last month? I mean, it’s Malcolm Young, the best rhythm guitarist of all time. Songwriter and backbone for one of the greatest bands of all time; AC/DC, there’s no other like him, there will be no other like him. He’s Malcolm FREAKIN Young! I don’t feel sad anymore about Malcolm Young’s passing, because he’s been with me in music since I was born, and will remain with us all for the rest of our days.
The only comfort in losing one of Australia's and the World's greatest songwriters is that he and Malcolm are now together, somewhere. A true pioneer of Australian music as a member of The Easybeats and producer for AC/DC.
What an innings Chuck Berry had, and what an incredibly important part of the world’s musical history. “The father of rock and roll” he was called, and with good reason, he was the first to mix jazz, blues, and rhythm, introduced guitar solos, writing lyrics that resonated directly with teenagers, he found the way forward. I think the "Johnny B Goode" intro was one of the first I tried to master on a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar when I was 15! It’s a simple aspirational story that would spawn many a guitarist.
This, of course, is just scratching the surface of the great musicians and contributors to rock'n'roll that we have lost in 2017.
We all have different musical heroes and their passing’s affected us in different ways, so please let us know who you miss the most, why were they so important to you. Music is incredibly personal, and what may seem like just another muso passing to someone else, may mean the world to you, and that’s what makes it so special.
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